COURT OR EACC JURISDICTION?

Meru Sports CEC's papers questioned

Petitioner says CEC does not hold required university degree as he claims

In Summary

• County's communications staff member wants Sports CEC Kiogara's appointment annulled. 

• Kiogara  says petition is defective, malicious and prematurely filed. 

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi
Image: FILE

A Meru court has dismissed Sports executive Daniel Kiogora's preliminary objection to a petition seeking to remove him over his academic credentials. 

Kiogora had sought to defend himself over a case in which a county communications staff member, Seth Mutugi, is seeking to have his appointment annulled. He said Kiogora does not hold a university degree as required by law to be an executive member. 

Mutugi says the CEC should not be drawing a salary.

 

Through lawyer Kiogora Mugambi, the CEC said the petition was defective, malicious and prematurely filed in court.

He said it was the prerogative of Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to deal with the allegations in the suit before going to court.

The executive said the court lacks jurisdiction.

However, Meru resident judge Alfred Mabeya on Thursday dismissed his request, citing Article 163(5) of the Constitution on the court's jurisdiction to make an inquiry. 

Mabeya said the matter will be heard on its merits through written submissionz, which the parties will file and serve within 60 days.

Mutugi, through lawyer Dickson Munene, filed the petition under a certificate of urgency.

He sued Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Kiogora, seeking to have the EACC investigate the authenticity of the academic documents presented by the CEC, before recommending charges against him and the governor.

 
 

CEC Kiogora argued the petition was politically instigated as he has never been tried in any court and found guilty of any of the allegations in the petition.

Mutugi said the court does have jurisdiction.

Munene told the court it was a non-issue on whether the respondents had been convicted of the allegations raised in the petition.

EACC did not respond to the preliminary objections.

In the replying affidavit signed by Benson Wambua, the anti-graft body said they had treated the allegations as complaints and were ready to launch investigations.

Wambua said the court was not the right forum to address the issue.

Section 35(3) b of the County Government Act requires one to hold a university degree, experience and distinguished career of not less than five years in the field relevant to the portfolio of the department to which the person is appointed.

Munene said the matter was urgent as Kiogora continues to gain remuneration irregularly at the expense of taxpayers.

The court will deliver judgment on the matter on September 19. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)